Bundaberg children have not been missing out on their music lessons, with the digital age providing plenty of access to resources and teachings during COVID-19.
The transition to online is what has kept BTR Performing Arts Academy in Bundaberg rolling, with music teacher Amanda Roche and her team taking on Skype lessons with local students.
“COVID-19 brought about having to think outside the box for how we were delivering our lessons,” Amanda said.
“Over the course of three weeks all of our face to face lessons moved to online lessons via Skype. This could not have been done without the amazing commitment and dedication of the BTR Team and patience and understanding of our BTR Families.
“Since the last few weeks of Term 1 all of our Kindermusik, Instrumental, Vocal and Musical Theatre lessons moved online.”
BTR Performing Arts Academy
BTR is locally owned and has been operating in Bundaberg for the past 15 years by Amanda.
It's been a natural path for Amanda, who said her passion for music started early when she began learning the violin at six years old at Walkervale State School.
“I was also a playing member of the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra, Bundaberg Municipal Band and school ensembles,” she said.
“After completing high school at Kepnock State High, I went on to complete a Bachelor of Music and Post Graduate Certificate in Pedagogy at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.
“I began teaching in my late years of high school and continued to do so through my university years and to the present day….that’s just a couple of decades in total!”
Amanda said it was important, now more than ever, for music lessons to be available to children in any way possible.
“Music is and always has been a universal language,” she said.
“While nothing beats face to face lessons and the benefits that come with these, students, parents and teachers have enjoyed being able to connect and continue their learning through our online platform during COVID-19.
“In these uncertain times it has been a pleasure to provide students with continued learning and the ability to maintain part of their normal routine.
“It has also provided students with opportunities to empower themselves through their ability to listen and think critically for themselves, as well as learn how to problem solve along the way.”
Amanda said one of the biggest success stories from her company's lessons had come from the Kindermusik Classes for Newborns to 7 years, taught by Eunice Beyer.
“For three generations, Kindermusik has been the world's leading provider of music-based education and is the only one of its kind in Bundaberg and surrounding areas,” Amanda said.
“Our research-based curriculum focuses on whole-child development including social skills, problem-solving skills, pre-math skills and a foundation for reading.”
Amanda said children thrived on music and believed it was one of the best vehicles to help young children learn.
“When paired with movement and instrument play, it creates neurological magic, lighting up a child’s brain and positively impacting all areas of development,” she said.
“Therapists often recommend our programs to families whose children experience physical, emotional, cognitive, or social challenges.
“Children with special needs are welcomed into all Kindermusik classes, from Foundations through Level 5 and our program is NDIS recognised.”
Amanda said no matter what the circumstances were, music could bring out the very best in people.
“What I love most about what I do is seeing the growth and transformation of the students I not only teach, but all the students taught at BTR,” she said.
“It is an honour to see a student learn to believe in themselves and their abilities.”
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